We Can all Use a Break Sometimes . . . and That’s Okay, Too!

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The past couple of months, my world has been somewhat isolating as I have worked diligently on achieving life goals, moving way too quickly to even stop and celebrate the small accomplishments.

I have worked on my memoir, beginning with the pre-order process, marketing, and trying to get the attention of eye manufactures regarding my (Your Sunglasses Selfie Project) also known as the #eye4acure campaign. All of this while also being a full-time graduate student in clinical mental health counseling, a good friend, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a doggy mommy, and a good role model—Yikes!

But let’s face it, my constant need to get everything done, to be productive, successful, and “make the world a better place”—has made me feel less of a superwoman and more like a cripple, as I feel I am running on empty.

I can run faster than a furious tornado all I want, but eventually, my mind and body will let me know I may have had about enough.  And burning the “candle on both ends” is only going to slow me down.

Therefore, it’s time I check in with my mental health and take it easy on myself because that’s as important as my physical health.

It’s time perhaps, to “stop and smell the roses,” which is easier said than done. I know…

I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break and make time for the things and people I love the most.  Like these things (to mention a few:)

  • Meditate
  • Go on hikes
  • Exercise
  • Spend time with family, friends, and my two four-legged children (Lucky and Happy)
  • Treat myself to a nice meal or glass of wine (or two) shhhh….
  • Disconnect from social media
  • And indulge on my espresso habit

The most important thing on this planet is to make sure we do not get pulled by lives fast pace momentum and allow ourselves to enjoy our journey as much as we can.

I would love to hear what you like to do for fun or while taking a quick break?

Post on my FaceBook page at: embracing your differences

Remember to step back and take a break! And most importantlyremember to, “STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES.”

Tomorrow is a new day to start over and start fresh.

Just breathe.

…………

Happy Holidays from:

Embracing Your Differences

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

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Screen Addiction; Is it Even a Real Thing?

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With most of my family in Europe, I love how technology gives me instant gratification. All I have to do is pick up my device and connect with family from miles away [any time my little heart desires]. I love to hear the excitement in my nephew’s tone as he takes his first baby steps. I love that technology allows me to be a part of his life.

But I’ll be completely honest: this world of technologyfrightened me a bit a few days ago.

I was at my doctor’s office waiting for my appointment when I noticed a mother and child sitting beside me and my own mother. A few minutes later, the child screamed, probably bored and overwhelmed with the number of people surrounding us. I know I was.

But what happened next made me change my point of view on technology. The mother handed a tablet to her screaming child to quiet her down.

I looked directly at my mother and felt extremely blessed that she allowed me to play with toys, run around outdoors, play in the rain, and didn’t mind when my sister and me made a house (mess) out of blankets, chairs, and pillows. In that moment, I felt extremely blessed that I didn’t own my first phone until I was 15 years old. I am thankful my mother spent quality time with me. When I cried she gave me affection, she read to me and played games with me.

I know we live in other times, but I don’t like what technology is doing to our psyche.

Learn more about how modern technology is changing the way our brains work.

Do I really need to wake up and reach for my phone first thing in the morning? Do I really have to check my e-mail a hundred times a day? And look what social media has led me to feelanxious, depressed, and angry (most of the times.)

Social comparison has become a real concern for my generation. Social media can feel like a marriage commitmentone I never signed up for.

And now I wonder if I, too, am spending more time behind a screen than I am outdoors and with people I really care about.

So yeah, screen addiction seems to be a real concern for my generation and the one to come.

And after writing this blog, it makes me want to disconnect from my devices for a while. But before I do, I want to leave you all with this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

 Mahatma Gandhi

~Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

Coffee drinkers, this one is for you!

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It was 6:00 a.m. when my obnoxious alarm clock rang every morning for the past four months.  In that moment, I wished it was the weekend and that I could stay under the covers for just a bit longer. Luckily, as a graduate student, I now have the privilege to sleep in an extra few hours, since my classes are in the late afternoon.

But even with the extra sleep, I still need my caffeine intake every single day. Nothing makes my day happier than starting my morning with a cup (or three) of espresso.

I am an Italian girl, so you better believe I never skip a day of espresso!

When I wake up every morning, I immediately open my fridge to reach in and grab my espresso. I cannot imagine living a day without it, and if I did, I would have some serious withdrawal symptoms.  So yeah, I guess I am kind of addicted you would say.

And for years, it concerned me a bit. I didn’t want to give up on my espresso in the morning or my hazelnut coffee in the afternoon.  And it looks like I might not have to after all.

And here is why: forever grateful to researchers.

Read this article coffee drinkers.

Now that I know that coffee is linked with health benefits, such as a healthier brain, mood booster, better metabolism, and much more, I guess, I can start drinking my coffee with more enjoyment, and feel less guilt when doing so.

Okay, maybe moderation is key here.  Keep your intake to about two coffees a day and avoid drinking after 4: 00 p.m. if you want a good night sleep, and if you have an anxiety disorder, like I do––well . . . then you better reduce your caffeine intake.

But other than that––go ahead, and drink your cup of coffee guilt-free today!

Enjoy!

~Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved. 

Tis The Season To Be . . . (SAD?)

My favorite holiday is finally around the corner—Christmas.  My Christmas tree and decorations are up, my dogs have their Santa suits ready, and shopping is almost done with. Phew!

For Christmas Eve, I enjoy baking butter cookies, and then my mother and I go to Christmas mass at midnight. When we return, we see if Santa left any presents under the tree.  (Santa always finds out if you have been naughty or nice—just saying!).

My family and I gather around the Christmas tree and fireplace, we watch a holiday movie, sing to some Christmas carols, and enjoy some delicious foods and drink wine.  Then we play Truth or Dare.

The next day, things get a little sad for me again.

Winter always gives me the blues. I am home from college, I have excessively much time in my hands, and I dislike the cold weather.

I used to think something was wrong with me, until I read and learned about (SAD) seasonal affect disorder.

Therefore, here is what I do to beat the winter blues:

  1. I write a lot: I find that writing and tracking my mood really helps. Try the Action for Happiness, science have illustrated that writing three positives a day is linked with, “overall satisfaction with life and helps us have an overall positive outlook.”
  2. I surround myself with positive people: my mom, my friends, and my four-legged friends.  I plan some quality time with people I care about…that always puts a smile on my sad face.
  3. I exercise or plan my days with something that will keep me busy: I set my alarm and plan the day with things that will keep me occupied, even something as simple as re-organizing my desk or my closets. However, if things get too bored, I plan my own karaoke party. Hello? Says, Adele.
  4. I make self-care a priority: Therapy and support groups always seem to help me. However, I always try to never go out of style–– I love wearing my green cotton frog patterned socks and my chic fluffy long-sleeved pink flannel pajamas and watch the show friends.
  5. I try to have some fun: a good hike, ice-skating, and shopping can light up a smile. Alternatively, you can always sing in the shower and dance like no one is watching!

Here are more tips from experts: Help Guide.

I wish it was easier to snap out of the blue phase, but with supportive people, even this lousy season shall pass!

In the meantime, live, love, and laugh!

“Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest; Don’t judge life by one difficult season.”

– Mariagrazia Buttitta

Copyright © 2016 Embracing Your Differences, All rights reserved.